Monday, February 2, 2009

Things we learnt

1 Chelsea are no more
If their performance at Old Trafford less than a month ago was tired and stale, yesterday's display at Anfield was surely the final straw. They hardly created a chance worthy of the name, persisting with some five-a-side keepball. Gone was the hunger, fight and dynamism of the Mourinho era - all bar Lampard, Terry and Alex ought take a good hard look at themselves. Sure, the crazy red card pushed the game in Liverpool's direction but Chelsea had barely mounted a gallop even before that. Anelka was his usual flighty self in a big game. Kalou and Malouda aren't first-choice title-winning players. Drogba gave a disgraceful pass after coming on that reeked of just not caring. If Abramovich cared half as much as he did in Jose's time, Big Phil would be in big trouble. Count them out of the league, and the Champions League - another successful prediction for Dunphy!

2 Kerry look mean; so do Tyrone
We've already declared our reluctance to take too much from national league games - especially first-rounders in early February - but you know, it wasn't a bad first weekend at all. We watched Kerry begin Jack O'Connor era II with a fair verve and purpose - David Moran and Tommy Walsh looked scarily strong and hungry, Colm Cooper looked lively, Paul Galvin and Darren O'Sullivan sharper than recent times and the way they moved the ball was wonderful. On Saturday night, Tyrone put together some really top scores and moves, Sean Cavanagh was splendid at full-forward and Stephen O'Neill looked like the player of 2003 again. A full-forward line of O'Neill, Cavanagh, and a lean, hungry Mulligan would be awesome. Watch out.

Good news for:
Some Irish footballers who got decent moves. Robbie Keane seems to have ended probably the most disastrous transfer in history by heading back to Spurs. Jumpthefence has been critical of Keane (we genuinely don't reckon he's up to it at that level) but Rafa's treatment of him has been terrible and we're damn glad from an Irish point of view he's shot of it. Shay Given should revitalise at Man City, though we'll reserve judgement on whether they'll become a superpower or a disaster. Willo Flood has gotten a dream move to Celtic, though it's hard to know how much he'll play. Stephen Hunt might yet move to Spurs or Wigan and it'd be worthwhile to see how he'd do.

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